Cuba's Soviet ties more vital than ever
Washington — It's the Soviet Union that keeps Cuba running. So says a detailed economic analysis issued by the congressional Joint Economic Committee (JEC) here which finds that Havana is more dependent than ever on Moscow. Major findings:
Cuban integration into the Soviet trading bloc has failed to provide either the markets or range of goods that would lead to a transformation of the Cuban economy: Cuban dependence on sugar exports is bigger than ever.
In the next five years, further integration into the Soviet trading bloc will do little to offset the impact of US trade sanctions or solve the Cuban energy problem. More austerity lies ahead.
The Cuban revolution has had social successes, these have been possible only because of massive assistance from Moscow.
Havana now relies on the Soviet bloc for three-fourths of its world trade.
Lacking subsidized prices from Moscow, Cuba's modest 1978 global trade deficit of $187 million would be a huge $2.8 billion.
The study was prepared by Lawrence H. Theriot, Office of East-West Policy and Planning, US Department of Commerce, and released by Rep. Henry S. Reuss (D) of Wisconsin, chairman of the JEC.
There have been successes and failures in the Moscow-Havana relationship. Successes: income redistribution ''has eliminated almost all malnutrition''; health-care programs rival those in developed countries; illiteracy is all but gone and there is ''development of a relatively well-disciplined and motivated population with a strong sense of national identification.''
Failures: the faults of a centrally planned economy, the US analyst believes, have brought economic inefficiency, and a failure to become economically independent. This despite some $13 billion Soviet aid over the last decade.